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George Olshevsky (Dinogeorge@aol.com) wrote:

<The genus >is< the basic >taxonomic< unit, at least as far as the ICZN is
 concerned. The name of a genus is a singular noun; to name a species in
the  genus, you modify the noun with a species epithet. To name a family 
containing the genus, you derive the family name from the generic name.>

  I think you are confusing the ICZN's recommended taxonomic construction
with Linnaean taxonomy itself, in which the latter the species is the true
and basic unit, whereas the genus is named as a noun, a particular of
language and having nothing to do with biological evolution.

<The basic >phyletic< unit is, I think, a population.>

  Concerning fossils, this is not true. We do not have the population to
draw on. However, in concerns of populations, snouts of *Suchomimus*
apparently include the snout of *Baryonyx* in its morphological spectrum.
If the population were involved, it would still be the same. There are
numerous reasons, as I have detailed before, on how the two are each
other's closest relative, and variations in the ulna, aspect of the sacral
nueral spines in a slightly more advanced-aged animal than the *Baryonyx*
type (?, both are subadult, we do not know if the spines grew larger in
fully mature *Baryonyx*, or how they grew in fully mature *Suchomimus*,
giving us an unknown that works both ways, positive to their synonymy and
negative), and general proportions are usually what separates species in
other taxa, as a utility in gross numbers. *Suchomimus* does not vary much
in aspect but is instead fairly regular in its profile and features to
*Baryonyx*. We have imperfect preservation of the ilium and pelvis of
*Baryonyx*, one good coracoid in the shoulder, and a skull that is
incomplete and when restored along the bauplän of *Suchomimus*, are
relatively identical, down to the nasal ornamentation and nuchal crest.

  Phyletic space is, indeed, whatever you perceive a difference as; this
is why most purists in phylogeny avoid reference to phyletics: it doesn't
help except when people argue what species goes where -- remember, there
is no way to measure a genus and its content (or a species, for that
matter) as in Holtz genericometer. If it has just one difference, is it
the same species or many species removed? Some birds today are separated
morphologically only through color patterns and primary counts, and
admittedly the latter do not vary as much as the former do.


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

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